International Carnivorous Plant Society

Carnivorous Plant Newsletter Archive


Using a trail camera for recording plant-insect interactions with Venus flytrap as an example

Stephen E. Williams and Bill Scholl

Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 50(2):66-72
Published 11 May 2021

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Trail cameras can be used for the study of the interaction between plants and insects if they have a close-up lens and the capability of doing time-lapse photographs or videos. Typical trail cameras are mounted vertically, often on unstable camera stands. We have used the Bushnell NatureView HD Cam Model# 119740 and RC Williams Co. TopView Quick-Mount camera-stand to study the behavior of insects interacting with Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula). The combination allows photographs and videos to be made of insects and plants from above, with the camera held in a position that allows the plants to be observed from the exact same position for months at a time. Every five minutes a photograph and a one-minute video are recorded. We have developed methods of searching through this data for important events that involve producing 'slide shows' of the photographs overlain by a grid, that can be quickly scanned for events of interest. Video of these events near the time of the sequentially numbered photograph can then be viewed. The slides and videos can also be sampled at intervals for more gradual changes.

Keywords: Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, trail camera, video, plant-insect interactions

Article Citation

Stephen E. Williams and Bill Scholl. 2021. Using a trail camera for recording plant-insect interactions with Venus flytrap as an example. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 50(2):66-72.

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